BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the surface roughness of six esthetic restorative materials (Gradia Direct Anterior, GC Corporation, Tokyo, Japan; Filtek Supreme XTE, 3M ESPE, St. Paul, MN, USA; Ceram.X Universal, Dentsply DeTrey, Konstanz, Germany; Essentia enamel, GC Corporation, Tokyo, Japan; Admira Fusion, Voco, Cuxhaven, Germany; and Estelite, Tokuyama Dental corporation, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, Japan) achieved using three different finishing and polishing techniques. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this in vitro study Forty specimens of each material (6 mm in diameter, 2 mm high) were created and divided into four groups, one per each finishing and polishing procedure and a control group, only cured and not polished. All specimen preparation and finishing and polishing procedures were performed by the same investigator, to reduce variability, following strictly the manufacturer's instructions. Specimens were analyzed using a profilometer to measure the mean surface roughness (Ra, μm), and microscopy images were taken during the measurements through the microscope of the profilometer. Two-way ANOVA test was applied to determine significant differences with respect to material, finishing/polishing technique, and interaction between both variables. Post hoc comparison was done using Tukey's honestly significant difference test. Significance for statistical tests was predetermined at P < 0.05. RESULTS:Finishing and polishing procedure using tungsten carbide burs provided the best values in terms of surface roughness. All materials of this study treated with this method have provided superimposable values, and no material can be considered more performing than the others. Similar values were also found in the control group. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that the finishing technique with carbide burs produced an excellent surface smoothness, even if the best surface smoothness is achieved curing the restorative material under a polyester matrix.
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